End-of-day (EOD) red (R) or far-red (FR) light treatments were used to study phytochrome-regulated growth and dry matter distribution in 2-week-old watermelon plants. Plants were exposed to low-intensity R or FR light for 15 min at the end of photoperiod for 9 consecutive days. End-of-day FR increased the petiole elongation in the first two leaves, which was accompanied by higher dry matter partitioning to the petioles after 3 days of treatments. However, total plant dry mass (above ground) in FR-treated plants increased significantly after 6 days of treatments. This indicates EOD FR regulated dry matter compensation among plant parts at the early stages of EOD light treatments, allowing plants to better adapt to the environment. Net CO2 assimilation rate in the second leaf of FR-treated plants also increased. Phytochrome involvement in these processes is suggested, since growth and dry matter distribution patterns were reversible when plants were treated with FR immediately followed by R.
One of the problems associated with preplant bulb dips into plant growth regulator (PGR) solutions is the lack of knowledge of solution efficacy as an increasing number of bulbs are treated. We evaluated the effectiveness (“longevity”) of paclobutrazol (Bonzi) and uniconazole (Sumagic) solutions repeatedly used to dip hybrid lily (Lilium sp.) bulbs. Experiments were conducted over a 2-year period, using sequential 1-minute dips into paclobutrazol (100 or 200 mg·L–1) or uniconazole (2.5 mg·L–1). No difference in plant height occurred as the number of bulbs dipped into PGR solutions increased to at least 55 bulbs per liter. This was true whether bulbs were washed (with tap water to remove soil particles attached to the bulbs) or unwashed prior to the PGR dip. These findings have an important impact on cost effectiveness of bulb dips, as the more times the solution can be used, the lower the cost. Washed bulbs were taller than unwashed bulbs due to lower PGR liquid uptake in washed bulbs (about 1 mL less per bulb) compared to the unwashed bulbs. These results indicate that the hydration condition of bulbs prior to dipping can affect the amount of PGR liquid uptake and therefore final plant height.
End-of-day (EOD) light treatments were used to study phytochrome involvement in photosynthesis and photosynthate partitioning in watermelon plants. Two-week-old plants were treated with brief low-intensity red (R) or far-red (FR) light for 9 days at the end of daily light period. Petiole elongation in the first two leaves was the first significant growth change in FR-treated plants compared to other plants after 3 days of treatments. This petiole elongation was accompanied by significantly higher photosynthate partitioning to petioles, even without increase in above-ground dry weight of plants. Net CO2 assimilation rate in the second leaf was significantly higher in FR treated plants on a weight basis after 3 days of treatments. Far-red-treated plants had lower chlorophyll content per leaf area and higher stem specific weight compared to R-treated plants after 3 and 6 days of treatments, respectively. Transpiration and stomatal conduction were higher in FR-treated plants compared to other treatments after 3 days of treatments. The EOD FR regulated growth and photosynthate partitioning patterns were reversible when FR treated plants were immediately followed by R. This implies EOD R: FR ratio acting through the phytochrome regulates the growth and development processes in watermelon plants.
Rye and crimson clover as winter cover crops and red clover as a companion crop were evaluated in sweet corn and bell pepper production systems in South Carolina. Winter cover crops were planted in fall and incorporated into the soil 3 weeks prior to planting vegetable crops. Red clover was overseeded with the vegetable crops. There were no significant differences among treatments for corn yield. Marketable number and weight of bell peppers were significantly higher in both winter cover crops compared to red clover and fallow (control) treatments. Number of cull peppers (smaller peppers than USDA grades) were lower in both cover crops compared to other treatments. Lack of response in red clover compared to the fallow treatment may be due to the lower emergence of red clover when used as a companion crop with bell pepper. Marketable bell pepper yield was higher in the late harvest compared to the early harvest in all the treatments.